The LIFE Initiative provides support with bureaucratic problems with the asylum procedure. We help free of charge with the following topics among others:
- Orientation during the asylum procedure
- Help with communication with the BAMF or the immigration authorities
- Applying for social benefits, permission to work or change of place of residence
- Support in finding lawyers (e.g. to appeal against a rejected asylum application or in case of threatened deportation)
Our volunteers support you with individual online counselling. You can contact us through the following channels. We will reply within 48 hours.
Where can I apply for asylum in Germany?
You can apply for asylum at a reception center of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). You can also declare your asylum application at any police station, which will forward you. For the duration of your asylum procedure, you may be transferred to another city. When you register, you will receive an "Aufenthaltsgestattung" (residence permit) certifying that you are legally in Germany. In many cases, it is advisable to check whether the BAMF will try to deport you to another European country (Dublin procedure) before you apply for asylum. We will be happy to advise you on this.
How long will my asylum procedure take?
The average duration of an asylum procedure until a decision is made by the BAMF is approximately eight months. In cases where legal action was taken, it took an average of 22 months for the court to reach a decision.You have the possibility to ask the BAMF in writing about the interim status of your asylum procedure.
Can I attend a German course during my asylum procedure?
For people from certain countries of origin, it is possible to attend an integration course during the asylum procedure. To do this, you or your language school must submit an application to the BAMF. There are also free German courses in many places that are open to all refugees. We may be able to help you find a language school.
Am I allowed to work during my asylum procedure in Germany?
People in the asylum procedure are usually allowed to work after three months with the permission of the foreigners authority. The employer you want to work for must fill out a form for this. Asylum seekers from so-called safe countries of origin and residents of an initial refugee center are generally not allowed to work during their asylum process. We will be happy to check your case and help you get a permit.
What can I do if my asylum application has been rejected?
If you do not agree with the outcome of your asylum procedure, you can appeal against the decision within certain deadlines. To do this, you should find a lawyer who can advise you on what you can do against the threat of deportation. We can help you to find a lawyer.
What is the LIFE Initiative?
The LIFE Initiative helps with bureaucratic problems. If you need help with a letter from a government agency, can't fill out forms or your residence permit is expiring, you can contact us. We will try to find a solution together. If we can't help directly, we try to find other support. Our free help is aimed at refugees, migrants or Germans with little money. Our employees work as volunteers. They are not paid for their work but give advice in their free time.
How will I be helped?
We always help online. You can decide if you want to talk to us via WhatsApp, email, or phone. We treat each request individually. In a personal conversation, we discuss the specific problem and look for a solution in a timely manner.
In which language will the advice be provided?
We can speak with you in German or English at any time. After consultation, we may also be able to advise you in Arabic, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. If you do not speak any of these languages well, you will need to find someone to translate for you.
Does the LIFE Initiative share any of my information?
No. The LIFE Initiative is a non-profit association that works 100% independently and does not pass on any data to government agencies. All information is kept strictly confidential.
With which questions can the LIFE Initiative not help?
The LIFE Initiative can only help people who are in Germany. We do not provide advice on entering Germany. Our help is aimed at people in need who have little or no income and assets. We help with problems with offices and authorities. We cannot help with questions about finding a place to live or a job, or with health problems.
When do we get back to you?
After you send us a message, we will contact you within 48 hours. In a first phone call, we try to better understand your problem.